These Crunchy Coconut Key Lime Oven Fried Chicken Strips aka Chicken Fingers aka Chicken Nuggets, are so perfectly crunchy/crispy, they taste deep-fried! The Spicy Greek Yogurt Dip served alongside really takes it over the top!
For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned the blog, Edesia’s Notebook (love the name) authored and photographed by Lesa. For the first time since I joined, I didn’t have the urge to grab some gorgeous dessert, which Lesa has plenty of, and play with it. Instead, the same thought kept going through my head.
You don’t often see posts where I just make dinner, nothing fancy, nothing outrageous, nothing you would only make for a special occasion. It’s not that I don’t have a decent amount of simple recipes, but I just felt the need to cook dinner and blog it. I chose her Crunchy Lemon Chicken.
Of course, I ended up futzing with it because I truly believe it’s nearly impossible for me not to futz with recipes, and I think I say this in almost every post (annoying).
So, I cut each breast into strips, used key limes instead of lemons, and added soy sauce and garlic to the marinade. I also added desiccated coconut to the panko bread crumbs and beat the eggs with coconut milk for the breading station. Add to that a few other minor alterations, like the baking time and temperature, and there you have it.
Otherwise, it’s just dinner, and it was delicious. I think these are the crunchiest, most delicious baked chicken strips (or fingers or nuggets) I’ve ever had, and kids will go absolutely berserk over these. Just my completely
biased, unbiased opinion.
Even though they were flavorful enough as is, I decided to make a dip to go with them; a Spicy Greek Yogurt dip, or what I call a garbage dip, where you rummage through your fridge and cabinets and just throw something together. It was interesting and tasty, (it looks like Thousand Island dressing that sat out too long, doesn’t it?), but, again, the chicken strips/fingers/nuggets had so much flavor, it really wasn’t needed. But, I love dips with my chicken strips, fingers, or nuggets. I think it stems from my chicken mcnugget phase in High School. I always got two of each dipping sauce, and used up all of them.
That said, I hope you try these crunchy baked chicken strips/fingers/nuggets, and I hope you enjoy them!
Crunchy Coconut Key Lime Oven Fried Chicken Strips with Spicy Yogurt Dip
- 2 key limes, zested and juiced. If you can't find key limes, use just 1 regular lime, juiced and zested.
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 large garlic cloves, smashed and chopped finely
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 chicken breasts (About 1 lb) cut into 1-inch wide strips. Cut each strip in half horizontally to make 'nuggets', if desired.
- ¾ cup flour + ½ cup flour **
- salt and pepper to season both measurements of flour
- 2 eggs beaten with ¼ cup of coconut milk or coconut water
- 1½ cups Panko breadcrumbs
- ⅔ cup desiccated coconut shreds *
- Oil spray, doesn't matter what kind
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Asian chile-garlic sauce (or less, depending on how much heat you like)
- 1 small handful cilantro leaves, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl, stir together lime juice, zest, coconut milk, ginger, light soy sauce, garlic and salt. Add the chicken strips and stir until they're completely coated with the marinade. You can also pour the marinade with the chicken strips, into a ziplock bag, which is what I did. Marinate for 4 to 5 hours at the most..stirring the strips in the bowl of marinade or squeezing around the bag every hour to an hour and a half to insure even marinating.
- Line a large baking sheet with foil sprayed lightly with oil. (you can optionally place a rack over the foil lined sheet pan, and spray it with oil, to place the chicken strips on, but it's ok if you don't have one so just place them on the foil lined baking sheet) In a wide bowl,miix the ¾ cup of flour, salt and pepper and egg/coconut milk mixture together to form a paste like batter. Place the remaining ½ cup flour plus a pinch of salt and pepper, in a wide bowl, and place the panko and dessicated coconut together in another wide bowl. Remove the chicken strips from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F*** see notes
- Lift up each chicken strip and shake off some of the marinade so it isn't overly-saturated (I just ran two impeccably clean fingers down each strip, sliding off the extra marinade). Lightly coat each chicken strip in the bowl with ½ cup seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Dip each floured chicken strip in the batter/paste, knocking off any excess, then dredge both sides in the panko - dessicated coconut mixture, pressing it well onto each strip. Place each chicken strip on the oiled baking sheet (or the oil greaded rack over the baking sheet) and continue until all chicken has been coated.
- Lightly spray some oil on the breaded chicken strips, then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, turning them over half way through. IMPORTANT - Do not let them sit on the baking sheet once out of the oven. Transfer them to a wire rack if not eating within a few minutes, or the bottoms will get soggy.
- Make the Spicy Greek Yogurt Dip. Mix all the ingredients together, then cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors mingle.
** If you have RICE FLOUR on hand, use that instead. Even crunchier chicken strips!
[b]***[/b ]If you prefer, you can also deep fry the chicken strips or nuggets. Heat about 1-inch of a neutral oil (like vegetable oil) in a shallow pan to 375F. Deep fry about 2 to 4 minutes on each side until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Place on a paper towel lined wire rack to absorb any extra oil while you finish frying the rest of the strips. To keep them warm while frying the remaining strips/nuggets, place on a baking sheet and put them in 200F oven until they're all ready to serve..
If you get a chance, please click on the blue frog below to see all the amazing dishes recreated by Group A of The Secret Recipe Club. Also, click on over to Edesia’s Notebook for some fantastic sweet and savory recipes!